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Genres get Bent but never broken Mondays at Relish

March 25, 2022

Bentroots @ Relish -pic: Gary 17

Though described as a “Swampy Blues Band” in some of the promo for its Monday night residency at East York music and food emporium Relish, Bentroots goes way beyond the swamp in its rollicking and deftly delivered repertoire. [See also article from January 21].

Fronted by guitarist Nicholas Balkou, the group seems to define Blues as including a lot of early Rock ‘n’ Roll —which makes sense given that Rock emerged as white froth from the black cauldron of Blues way back when. There’s a strong Boogie-Woogie component to the group’s takes on Blues and Rock tunes, largely thanks to pianoman extraordinaire Michael Fonfara, best known as keys man for Downchild Blues Band. Accordion wizard Ed Roth supplies a lot of the Cajun/Swamp feel, while the rhythm section (Robert Newman on bass, Duncan McBain on kit) is able to not only adapt to but actually makes possible (and often initiates) the various twists and turns of genre this outfit incorporates into each show.

The group plays 8-11 at the club at 2152 Danforth Ave. exactly a block east of Woodbine. There’s no cover but do help fill the tip jar and you might also want to bring a couple of bucks to pick up one of their albums of awesome originals.

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